Today’s consumers enjoy a variety of ways to shop, with the two most popular methods being in-person or online. However, online is far from overtaking the popularity of in-store shopping, with Statista noting that roughly 13% of all sales were based online in the second quarter of 2021. With the increased focus on the benefits of digital shopping, why are people still stuck to the in-store model? Read on for some of the most popular reasons people aren’t ready to move online.
In person shopping allows people to physically hold the product (and in the case of clothes and shoes, try it on) and interact with it to make sure it’s what they want. While online retailers are slowly trying to compete with this by offering try-on services and hassle-free returns, customers know when they go to a store, they can interact with a product the moment they want to.
With online shopping, customers need to wait to receive their item. While major online retailers are able to offer benefits like free 2-day shipping, customers must still wait to receive their items. When an item is purchased in-store, customers receive it the moment the money is taken out of their account. This has led to some customers actually being willing to pay more because they know they’ll receive the item the moment they order it.
Many in-store shoppers feel that customer service is better than online because they can talk to someone and have their questions answered as soon as they find an employee rather than sitting on the phone or in a chat box for up to an hour while someone is connected to them behind a computer screen. However, this might soon become an in-store only benefit of the past as more and more websites install An AI chatbot to provide a personalized shopping experience that’s instantaneous.
When a customer needs to return something online, they need to request the return, print a label, deliver the product to a shipping location or wait for it to be picked up and then wait for the company to process the return. To say this process is a hassle is a bit of an understatement. In-store shoppers simply need to drive to the physical location and return their product at the register, allowing for an instantaneous return process that’s basically hassle free. However, while online shopping can be more of a hassle, they also tend to have longer return periods and shoppers don’t need to worry about returning an item without a receipt.
Online shopping is slowly growing in popularity, but there’s nothing to suggest it will surpass the in-store experience anytime soon. However, as technology and digital processes improve, we could very well see online shopping become people’s go-to as the years go on.